How to Live in Portland

Maybe it’s not my place to advise on this, being a recent transplant. I mean, I’m basically the whole reason ‘Old Portland’ is dead. Remember good old Portland, where the schools were shit, jobs didn’t exist and everybody was on heroin? So great.

I moved here because Portland has something almost no other city has: civic engagement. Neighborhood associations actually represent their neighborhoods, people care about local government and zoning laws.

Within days of moving here, I was scoping out business associations for my business and neighborhood associations for my neighborhood. Now I’m helping to organize other business associations, and I’m one of 5 volunteer organizers for the Freelancers Union in Portland.

So I can safely say that a lot of the people bitching about how Portland has changed are mysteriously absent from the discussion at the neighborhood level, or any level higher than at their shitty kitchen with their drunk friends.

Portland needs more joiners. People are so quick to criticize and quit without ever getting involved in the solution. Change is happening rapidly. That will be uncomfortable. Not everything is going to make it, but if you’re involved in it instead of just sitting around waiting to be obliterated, at least you can add your voice to the process. For every one person working on this stuff, there are 20 complaining about things. If you don’t want to show up for your city, don’t be surprised when you get left behind.

You say you love Portland, but you don’t want to contribute at all, and at the same time you demand to be catered to or you’re taking your toys and leaving? I hear LA is an ever-burning pit of offal filled with asshole just like you lovely.